MRC inaugurates ward at Basse Health Centre

07/30/2011 01:35

Friday, July 29, 2011
The Medical Research Council (MRC) Tuesday inaugurated the newly renovated pediatric ward at the Basse Health Centre.

 The inauguration ceremony also witnessed the handing of furniture and equipment worth 10, 000  British Pounds purchased by MRC for the pediatric ward and the health centre. Pa Chedoh Saine, Research Project manager, MRC Basse, who also chaired the occasion said the day marks another important milestone in the ever increasingly close relationship between The  Gambia Government and MRC. “Basse Health Centre was one of the major sites that hosted the Pneumococcal Vaccine Trial (PVT) from 2000-2004 and also together with the five outlying clinics of Gambissara, Demba Kunda, Fatoto, Garawol, and Koina are now hosting the Pneumococcal Surveillance Project (PSP),” he stated.

For his part, Dr. Momodou Jasseh, head, MRC Basse Field Station said the tripartite relationship between the MRC, URR regional health team, and Basse Health Centre started about 30 years ago, noting that at that time, under-five mortality in the world of URR was in excess of 300 per 1, 000 births, thus placing the URR and much of rural Gambia among the world’s highest mortality areas. “Such gloomy scenario warranted the MRC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to under clinical and population-based research to establish the mortality and morbidity burdens of the prevalent diseases- especially in children less than five years old- and recommend strategies of alleviating them,” he stated. According to him, the joint successes between the MRC and Ministry of Health have been very significant and encouraging.

To this end, he renewed MRC, Basse Field Station’s commitment to its partnership with the regional health team in URR in the pursuit of cutting-edge medical and health research relevant to the people of URR, The Gambia, and the wider developing world. Dr. Mamady Cham, director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health thanked MRC for renovating the ward and donating the furniture and equipment, while urging for proper management of the facility and the equipment for it to serve its purpose.

Professor Tumani Corrah, director of MRC, Gambia Unit hailed the MRC Basse Station and the Basse Health Centre for collaboration and cooperation in improving the healthcare of the people in the region. He challenged them to continue the move in order to ensure an effective health service delivery. He described the inauguration as another milestone in the long-standing relationship between the two parties. According to him, MRC has been complimenting government’s effort in improving healthcare delivery in URR, noting that the new development will in no small way help greatly in improving the healthcare delivery in the region. He urged them to take good care of the items in order to make sure that the desired goals are achieved.

In spite the positive joint achievement, however, Professor Corrah called for more collaboration in reducing child mortality rate in the region and The Gambia at large, reminding them that they are partners working towards achieving the same goal. “I encourage the two parties to work more closely to achieve more because we want to make sure that  the quality of healthcare to Gambian children is second to none compared to anywhere in the world,” he said.

Delivering the vote of thanks, Baba Jeng, director of Regional Health Team in URR said health is among government’s top priorities, thus leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that healthcare is at the doorstep of every Gambian. This task, he said cannot be undertaken by government alone, therefore it is the responsibility of everyone to contribute in ensuring that this noble task is accomplished for the interest of the general population. He thanked MRC for the new development, which he said will go a long way in improving health service delivery.

Officially inaugurating the ward, deputy governor of URR, Momodou S. Jallow on behalf of the governor told the gathering that the collaboration between MRC and the government has been going on for a very long time, noting that the president has high regards for health. “Health is one of the top priority areas for government and we are aware that the partnership between MRC and government in this area is a win-win situation and has yielded dividend,” he said, adding that the partnership has made tremendous strides in the delivery of healthcare in The Gambia.

He therefore urged for both parties to further intensify their collaboration and cooperation to ensure provision of improved services for patients. He concluded by urging them to take good care of the facility for its durability. Present at the ceremony were district chiefs and Basse elders, staff of MRC and Basse Health Centre amongst others.
 
Author: by Alieu Ceesay, in URR

Captioned from the Daily Observer Online Newspaper.

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